Sunday, March 15, 2009

Shabby Chic goes out in style

After just eight months, Shabby Chic, the flouncy, earthy, flowery seller of everything shabby and chic closed its doors at The Village at Corte Madera this month. The retailer, a victim of the recession and an unfortunately-timed decision to embark on a major store expansion program, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last month and has been forced to close most of its stores.

However, keeping true to founder Rachel Ashwell's philospohy of living and breathing the brand, she has maintained a fascinating blog of her journey through these tough times, complete with snippets of wisdom, heart-rending outpourings of grief from her fans, language as flowery as her bed sheets, and photos from her new book...

February 2:

This is a blog I never in my wildest nightmares thought I would have to write. Last Thursday evening Shabby Chic filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The road to recovery for Shabby Chic will be hard and recovery is by no means certain. I find myself in a situation of having to understand parts of business that are challenging for a flea market girl.
February 12:

Our Greenwich Avenue and East Hampton Stores have closed. My staff were of such support to the end. Both landlords are gentlemen. They took the time to travel to meet me last week for tea.

There has been many a night we find ourselves sitting in my office, regrouping of the day’s events and discussing the following days agenda. Often we don’t even notice the sun has gone down, and we are talking in the dark with the exception of the light source from my computer.

March 2:

As always I look for guidance and metaphors in life... Some flowers are annuals, some perennials. Even though some flowers just have one season to make their mark, they still leave behind memories, the same way some stores that we prematurely had to close, will.

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